British world war II films

by timwestcott | created - 17 Feb 2019 | updated - 2 days ago | Public

British or part British films about world war 2

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1. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Not Rated | 163 min | Drama, Romance, War

From the Boer War through World War II, a soldier rises through the ranks in the British military.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, Anton Walbrook, James McKechnie

Votes: 12,325

2. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

87 Metascore

British POWs build a railway bridge across the river Kwai for their Japanese captors, oblivious of the Allies' plans to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 193,754 | Gross: $44.91M

3. Dunkirk (2017)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Drama, History

94 Metascore

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

Votes: 507,759 | Gross: $188.37M

4. The Dam Busters (1955)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, History, War

The story of how the British attacked German dams in World War II by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans, Basil Sydney

Votes: 9,095

5. A Bridge Too Far (1977)

PG | 175 min | Drama, History, War

Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier

Votes: 49,214 | Gross: $50.80M

6. Atonement (2007)

R | 123 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

85 Metascore

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan), as a thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan

Votes: 237,360 | Gross: $50.93M

7. Battle of Britain (1969)

G | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the U.K.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews, Curd Jürgens

Votes: 19,837 | Gross: $4.36M

8. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A British wartime aviator who cheats death must argue for his life before a celestial court.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote, Kathleen Byron

Votes: 18,094

9. A Canterbury Tale (1944)

Not Rated | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

Three modern day pilgrims investigate a bizarre crime in a small town on the way to Canterbury.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price, John Sweet

Votes: 4,745

10. Sink the Bismarck! (1960)

Approved | 97 min | Action, Drama, History

The World War II story of the Royal Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship.

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Möhner, Laurence Naismith

Votes: 6,566 | Gross: $6.54M

11. The Land Girls (1998)

R | 111 min | Drama, Romance, War

Three young women from very different walks of life join the women's land army during World War II and are sent to work together on a farm in Dorset and the experience changes their lives forever.

Director: David Leland | Stars: Catherine McCormack, Rachel Weisz, Anna Friel, Steven Mackintosh

Votes: 1,829 | Gross: $0.15M

12. Pursuit of the Graf Spee (1956)

Not Rated | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

In the first major naval battle of World War II, the British Navy must find and destroy a powerful German warship.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: John Gregson, Anthony Quayle, Ian Hunter, Jack Gwillim

Votes: 3,651

13. Ice Cold in Alex (1958)

Approved | 130 min | Adventure, Drama, War

During World War II in North Africa, a medical field unit must cross the desert in their ambulance in order to reach the British lines in Alexandria.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: John Mills, Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms, Harry Andrews

Votes: 4,749

14. The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

87 Metascore

Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson

Votes: 213,824 | Gross: $12.10M

15. One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942)

Not Rated | 82 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

When Nazi anti-aircraft fire damages a British bomber, its crew bails out and seeks help from the Dutch underground.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Godfrey Tearle, Eric Portman, Hugh Williams, Bernard Miles

Votes: 1,762

16. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

R | 123 min | Drama, War

During WWII, a British colonel tries to bridge the cultural divides between a British POW and the Japanese camp commander in order to avoid bloodshed.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takeshi Kitano

Votes: 14,198 | Gross: $2.31M

17. The Heroes of Telemark (1965)

Approved | 131 min | Action, Drama, History

Norwegian resistance tries to stop German efforts to produce an atomic bomb component during World War II.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, Ulla Jacobsson, Michael Redgrave

Votes: 6,198

18. 633 Squadron (1964)

Approved | 102 min | Drama, War

An RAF squadron is assigned to knock out a German rocket fuel factory in Norway. The factory supplies fuel for the Nazi effort to launch rockets on England during D-Day.

Director: Walter Grauman | Stars: Cliff Robertson, George Chakiris, Maria Perschy, Harry Andrews

Votes: 3,318

19. Carve Her Name with Pride (1958)

Not Rated | 119 min | Biography, Drama, War

During World War II, a recently widowed young woman is recruited to work as a spy in France.

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Virginia McKenna, Paul Scofield, Jack Warner, Denise Grey

Votes: 1,503

20. The Cruel Sea (1953)

Approved | 126 min | Drama, War

The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

Director: Charles Frend | Stars: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton, Denholm Elliott

Votes: 3,843

21. Odette (1950)

105 min | Drama, History, War

During WW2, a French woman living in England volunteers to work for British Intelligence in Nazi-occupied France.

Director: Herbert Wilcox | Stars: Anna Neagle, Trevor Howard, Marius Goring, Peter Ustinov

Votes: 597

22. The Way Ahead (1944)

Approved | 91 min | Drama, War

World War II drama that follows a group of British draftees, starting with their rigorous basic training, and ending with their deployment in North Africa.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: David Niven, Stanley Holloway, James Donald, John Laurie

Votes: 1,649

23. Dunkirk (1958)

Approved | 135 min | Action, Drama, History

A dramatization of the British Expeditionary Force's 1940 retreat to the beaches of France and the extraordinary seaborne evacuation that saved it from utter destruction by Nazi Germany.

Director: Leslie Norman | Stars: John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Bernard Lee, Robert Urquhart

Votes: 2,522

24. Millions Like Us (1943)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, War

Categorised as a British World War II propaganda film this less known example is a superb work of morale-boosting films from mid World War 2. Well written and directed the film has a simple... See full summary »

Directors: Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder | Stars: Patricia Roc, Gordon Jackson, Anne Crawford, Moore Marriott

Votes: 807

25. Tobruk (1967)

Approved | 107 min | Drama, War

A Canadian POW major is rescued by a special British military unit made up of Germans to help lead an attack on a major Nazi fuel depot in Tobruk, Libya.

Director: Arthur Hiller | Stars: Rock Hudson, George Peppard, Nigel Green, Guy Stockwell

Votes: 2,691

26. Johnny in the Clouds (1945)

87 min | Drama, Romance, War

The wartime daily routine on a British bomber base in southeastern England is revealed through the eyes of newly arrived Flying Officer Peter Penrose (Sir John Mills).

Director: Anthony Asquith | Stars: Michael Redgrave, John Mills, Rosamund John, Douglass Montgomery

Votes: 1,225

27. The Silent Enemy (1958)

Not Rated | 112 min | Action, Biography, History

In the Mediterranean in 1941 the Italians start using underwater chariots to mine the undersides of allied ships. Explosives expert Lionel Crabbe arrives in Gibraltar to organise defenses, ... See full summary »

Director: William Fairchild | Stars: Laurence Harvey, Dawn Addams, Michael Craig, John Clements

Votes: 511

28. The Imitation Game (2014)

PG-13 | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Director: Morten Tyldum | Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech

Votes: 648,994 | Gross: $91.13M

29. Theirs Is the Glory (1946)

Approved | 82 min | Documentary, War

A re-enactment of the Battle of Arnhem during the Second World War which was later lavishly remade as A Bridge Too Far (1977).

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst | Stars: Stanley Maxted, Thomas Scullion, Allan Wood, Leo Genn

Votes: 239

30. We Dive at Dawn (1943)

Not Rated | 98 min | Action, Drama, War

All leave is cancelled so that a British submarine can be sent after a new German warship. They chase it so far that they have no fuel to get home.

Director: Anthony Asquith | Stars: John Mills, Louis Bradfield, Ronald Millar, Jack Watling

Votes: 1,219

31. Night Ambush (1957)

Unrated | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Led by British officers, partisans on Crete plan to kidnap the island's German commander and smuggle him to Cairo, Egypt to embarrass the occupiers.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Marius Goring, David Oxley, Dimitri Andreas

Votes: 1,338

32. The Man Who Never Was (1956)

Approved | 103 min | War, Drama

True story of a British attempt to trick the enemy into weakening Sicily's defenses before the 1943 attack, using a dead man with faked papers.

Director: Ronald Neame | Stars: Clifton Webb, Gloria Grahame, Robert Flemyng, Josephine Griffin

Votes: 3,982

33. The Cockleshell Heroes (1955)

Approved | 97 min | Action, War, Drama

During World War II, German ships are "safely" docked upriver at Bordeaux, but the British send a team of kayakers to attack them.

Director: José Ferrer | Stars: José Ferrer, Trevor Howard, Dora Bryan, Christopher Lee

Votes: 1,545

34. The Sea Wolves (1980)

PG | 120 min | Action, History, War

During World War II, the British must attack a German ship, but it's safe in neutral Goa. As a result, they send civilians: former soldiers who are about sixty years old.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen | Stars: Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, David Niven, Trevor Howard

Votes: 3,680

35. Went the Day Well? (1942)

Approved | 92 min | Thriller, War

An English village is occupied by disguised German paratroopers as an advance post for a planned invasion.

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti | Stars: Leslie Banks, C.V. France, Valerie Taylor, Marie Lohr

Votes: 2,940 | Gross: $0.02M

36. Age of Heroes (2011)

Not Rated | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The true story of the formation of Ian Fleming's 30 Commando unit, a precursor for the elite forces in the U.K.

Director: Adrian Vitoria | Stars: Sean Bean, Danny Dyer, Aksel Hennie, Izabella Miko

Votes: 9,272

37. The Password Is Courage (1962)

Approved | 116 min | War, Comedy, Drama

British N.C.O. Sergeant Major Charles Coward (Sir Dirk Bogarde) escapes from the Stalag VIII-B P.O.W. camp, and is mistakenly awarded with the Iron Cross by the Germans.

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Maria Perschy, Alfred Lynch, Nigel Stock

Votes: 1,070

38. The Two-Headed Spy (1958)

Approved | 93 min | Drama, Thriller, War

This movie is based on a true story as written in A.P. Scotland's autobiography "The London Cage". The plot has greatly exaggerated the actual events of A.P. Scotland's experiences, including the addition of a fictional love interest.

Director: André De Toth | Stars: Jack Hawkins, Gia Scala, Erik Schumann, Alexander Knox

Votes: 562

39. Operation Crossbow (1965)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Drama, War

Allied agents attempt to infiltrate the Nazis' rocket research site.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: Sophia Loren, George Peppard, Trevor Howard, John Mills

Votes: 4,016

40. The Colditz Story (1955)

94 min | Drama, History, War

Allied prisoners of various nationalities pool their resources to plan numerous escapes from an "escape-proof" German P.O.W. camp housed in a Medieval castle.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: John Mills, Eric Portman, Christopher Rhodes, Lionel Jeffries

Votes: 2,130

41. Jungle Fighters (1961)

Approved | 110 min | War, Drama

In 1942, a group of British soldiers is sent on a mission in the Malaysian jungle and gets lost into the Japanese controlled zone.

Director: Leslie Norman | Stars: Richard Todd, Laurence Harvey, Richard Harris, Ronald Fraser

Votes: 676

42. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)

TV-14 | 124 min | Drama, History, Romance

65 Metascore

In the aftermath of World War II, a writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtenay, Michiel Huisman, Katherine Parkinson

Votes: 27,744

43. The Hill (1965)

Approved | 123 min | Drama, War

81 Metascore

In a North African military prison during World War II, five new prisoners struggle to survive in the face of brutal punishment and sadistic guards.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen, Alfred Lynch

Votes: 11,455

44. Hannibal Brooks (1969)

PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy, Adventure, War

A prisoner of war working at a zoo gets the chance to escape from the Germans, so he does and he takes with him the elephant that he's been caring for. Together they head for the Swiss border and freedom.

Director: Michael Winner | Stars: Oliver Reed, John Alderton, Michael J. Pollard, Wolfgang Preiss

Votes: 1,278